Are you in a role that puts you “in the zone”?

Having worked with hundreds of co-workers, EWF Forum members, and coaching clients it’s become abundantly clear to me that those leaders who consistently excel are in a role that “brings out the best of themselves”.

It’s like an athlete who is “in the zone”, utilizing all of the skills and talents that took years to hone, but come almost effortlessly and without conscious thought as he or she executes that perfect spiral pass, that perfect putt, or that perfect backhand return.

It was also reinforced in a recent article I read by Alaina Love on how to fall in love with your work. She stated that “each of the leaders I met deeply understood their skills, passions, and values. They actively pursue aligning their passions with their work roles and applying their skills in ways that help them become effective contributors.”

And that became her #1 tip on how to fall in love with your work – “Know Thyself”.

Most effective leaders have deep insight into themselves.

They understand what drives them, what behavioral risk factors can get in their way, and feel that what they are doing gives them purpose, not just a sense of accomplishment. Accomplishment is good, a sense of purpose far better.

Leaders with excellent insight:

  • Build their teams with people who complement their skill set.
  • They recognize that no one person can do everything well and it’s a matter of building a diverse team in terms of skills, aptitudes, and personality preferences.
  • They seek balance among leadership styles to avoid “group think” to encourage diversity of thought.

For those leaders in transition, a large part of the evaluation of any job offer should include an understanding of the company culture and how it aligns with the candidate’s core values.

I’ve seen many a failure where individuals possess the skills and the talents, and can effectively perform the function of the job, but the core culture of the company does not match up with their core values. They find it impossible to “get in the zone” for peak performance.

There are numerous assessment tools on the market to help individuals gain insight into their personality preferences, leadership styles, and strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing your strengths is important.

It’s critical to understand one’s weaknesses as those are the things that most often derail leaders. And those weaknesses are often our biggest blind spots.

I especially like the Lumina Learning assessment tools around personality, leadership, and culture. They go deep, highlight both strengths and weaknesses, and help people understand their risk behaviors when they fall under stress.

To “Know Thyself” ensures you can spend your time and talent in a role that utilizes your strengths, minimizes your weaknesses, and gives you joy because it aligns with your core values. It also gives you guidance on balancing out your entire team for outstanding performance, enabling you to live a professional life that is “in the zone”.